Terry Pratchett Quotes (Thought-Provoking)

If you’re looking for some words of wisdom, you need look no further than Terry Pratchett quotes. His hilarious and insightful quotes will make you think. Whether you’re a fan of his work or not, you’re sure to find something to appreciate in his words.

terry pratchett quotes

Terry Pratchett was born on April 28, 1948, in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England. He was the son of David and Eileen Pratchett.

Terry was a mediocre student and didn’t have any clear career aspirations. However, he had a strong interest in writing and was published in the school magazine.

Terry’s writing career began in earnest in the late 1970s, when he wrote a number of short stories for various magazines. In 1971, he published his first novel, The Carpet People. This was followed by a number of other novels, including The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, and Mort.

In addition to his writing, Terry was also a popular commentator on the BBC Radio 4 program, The News Quiz. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, and died on March 12, 2015.

Here are some of our favorites Terry Pratchett quotes.

60 Terry Pratchett Quotes

  1. “Time is a drug. Too much of it kills you.”

2. “If you have enough book space, I don’t want to talk to you.”

3. “Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

4. “Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.”

5. “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry.”

6. “Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”

7. “Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

8. “Wisdom comes from experience. Experience is often a result of lack of wisdom.”

9. “Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It’s the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.”

10. “The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

11. “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”

12. “The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.”

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Most Famous Terry Pratchett Quotes

13. “Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.”

14. “…inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.”

15. “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”

16. “A good plan isn’t one where someone wins, it’s where nobody thinks they’ve lost.”

17. “It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.”

18. “Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”

19. “She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don’t apply to you.”

20. “Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”

21. “It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.”

22. “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”

23. “A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”

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Thought-Provoking Terry Pratchett Quotes

24. “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”

25. “Anyway, if you stop tellin’ people it’s all sorted out afer they’re dead, they might try sorting it all out while they’re alive. ”

26. “If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.”

27. “There isn’t a way things should be. There’s just what happens, and what we do.”

28. “I do note with interest that old women in my books become young women on the covers… this is discrimination against the chronologically gifted.”

29. “It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.”

30. “The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”

31. “Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.”

32. “In theory it was, around now, Literature. Susan hated Literature. She’d much prefer to read a good book.”

33. “There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.”

death terry pratchett quotes

34. “The intelligence of that creature known as a crowd is the square root of the number of people in it.”

35. “When in doubt, choose to live.”

36. “Steal five dollars and you’re a common thief. Steal thousands and you’re either the government or a hero.”

37. “If there was anything that depressed him more than his own cynicism, it was that quite often it still wasn’t as cynical as real life.”

38. “This isn’t life in the fast lane, it’s life in the oncoming traffic.”

39. “Did I do anything last night that suggested I was sane?”

40. “The enemy isn’t men, or women, it’s bloody stupid people and no one has the right to be stupid.”

41. “Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.”

42. “Coffee is a way of stealing time that should by rights belong to your older self.”

43. “Insanity is catching.”

44. “Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. It always defeats order, because it is better organized.”

45. “Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men.”

46. “The trouble is you can shut your eyes but you can’t shut your mind.”

47. “If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he’d be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting ‘All gods are bastards!”

48. “There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.”

49. “We who think we are about to die will laugh at anything.”

50. “No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…”

51. “Studies have shown that an ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant grandmother.”

52. “I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it.”

53. “Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.”

54. “All tapes left in a car for more than about a fortnight metamorphose into Best of Queen albums.”

55. “She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.”

56. “Do you think it’s possible for an entire nation to be insane?”

57. “Inside every sane person there’s a madman struggling to get out,” said the shopkeeper. “That’s what I’ve always thought. No one goes mad quicker than a totally sane person.”

58. “People couldn’t become truly holy, he said, unless they also had the opportunity to be definitively wicked.”

59. “Progress just means bad things happen faster.”

60. “Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.”

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